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Birchcliffe War Memorial

A Grade II Listed Building in Hebden Bridge, Calderdale

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.7434 / 53°44'36"N

Longitude: -2.009 / 2°0'32"W

OS Eastings: 399500

OS Northings: 427442

OS Grid: SD995274

Mapcode National: GBR GTD4.VV

Mapcode Global: WHB8F.35LL

Entry Name: Birchcliffe War Memorial

Listing Date: 18 June 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1453672

Location: Hebden Royd, Calderdale, HX7

County: Calderdale

Civil Parish: Hebden Royd

Built-Up Area: Hebden Bridge

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Summary


War memorial, unveiled in 1922.

Description

MATERIALS: stone cenotaph and curtain walls with bronze plaques and detailing.

DESCRIPTION: Birchcliffe War Memorial is located to the right hand side of the main approach to the former Birchcliffe Baptist Church. It consists of a stone cenotaph flanked by stepped, curved curtain walls. The cenotaph has a central full height panel which is set forward and inscribed; this is embellished by a bronze wreath at the apex above an egg and dart band. The flanking higher curtain walls have inset bronze plaques with stone surrounds inscribed with the names of the Fallen. Inverted bronze torches are located to either side of the plaques which are said to represent the extinguishing of the lives of the Fallen. The memorial sits on a single stepped base on a raised site which is reached by a set of four steps.

The front face of the cenotaph has an incised inscription which reads TO THE/ MEMORY OF/ THE MEN/ FROM THIS CHURCH/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES/ FOR US/ IN THE GREAT WAR/ 1914 – 1919/ THEY LAID THEIR RICHEST GIFT/ - THEIR LIVES -/ ON THE ALTAR OF SACRIFICE/ LET THEIR NAMES BE REMEMBERED.

History

The aftermath of the First World War saw the biggest single wave of public commemoration ever with tens of thousands of memorials erected across England. This was the result of both the huge impact on communities of the loss of three quarters of a million British lives, and also the official policy of not repatriating the dead: therefore memorials provided the main focus of the grief felt at this great loss. One such memorial was raised at Birchcliffe as a permanent testament to the sacrifice made by the members of the Birchcliffe Baptist Church, who lost their lives in the First World War. 

The memorial was designed by the architects Sutcliffe and Sutcliffe and was unveiled on 12 November 1922 by Mr Joe Haigh, an ex-servicemen from Birchcliffe. It commemorates 27 local servicemen who died during the First World War. 

The memorial was cleaned in 2009.

Reasons for Listing

Birchcliffe War Memorial, which was unveiled in 1922 and is located by the side of the main approach to the former Birchcliffe Baptist Church, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the congregation of the Birchcliffe Baptist Church and the sacrifice it made during the First World War.

Architectural interest:

* as a well-executed cenotaph form of memorial decorated with bronze plaques and details.

Group value:

* with the former Baptist church and the steps and entrance archway to the same (both Grade II).

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